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The 21st Century has witnessed a new Asian ascendancy over the West. Europe has lost the manufacturing catalyst of textiles, ceramics and metal goods back to India and China. This project, funded by the European Research Council, charts the history of the first global shift during the period 1600 to1830 in order to challenge the long divide between Europe and Asia in history writing and explore the subject in a global context.

Lead by Professor Maxine Berg, three postdoctoral fellows, a research assistant and a PhD student are engaged in a comparative study of Europe’s trade with India and China during this period by drawing on the records of Europe’s East India companies, records of private traders, and major museum collections. They are exploring how Europe’s pursuit of goods moved it from a premodern to modern trading world against the backdrop of Europe’s Industrial Revolution and India and China’s displacement as manufacturing and economic world leaders.

Forthcoming Events

Our major conference "Goods from the East:Trading Eurasia 1600-1830" will be held at the Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava, Venice from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 January. Click here for the conference webpage.


Chinese Silk Dress 1751-1770 Copyright Museum of LondonLacquered leather shield with the coat of arms of Constantijn Ranst, c. 1668 – 1700, Copyright Ashmolean Museum, OxfordCouvre Lit, Copyright Musee de la Comagne de Indes, Lorient Clove sample 1900-35 Copyright Museum of LondonChinese wallpaper c.1755 Copyright Museum of London